by Nick Mamatas
Read by David O. Englestad
Originally published in Lenox Avenue
The first time Skatouioannis made an appearance was the morning of the SATs. I had just started the ignition and was pulling out of the driveway when the ground gave way. It felt like I had hit a speed bump, or a kid, then it all went black. The edge of a shovel and a drizzle of broken glass woke me up – he was there, a silhouette with the sun behind his head, branches and telephone wires criss-crossing the sky, poking away at the windshield of my car, which was standing nearly straight up, the trunk and back seat in the sinkhole left by the collapsed septic tank. A mostly empty septic tank. The shovel came down hard.
I woke up in the hospital three days later, my first year’s tuition already spent on a new septic tank and driveway. Plus the medical bills. If there were big muddy footprints all around the front yard, they had been swept away before the doctors let me go home. Old, empty septic tanks collapse all the time, you know. It was another two seasons of mowing lawns for the little old ladies my mother knew from church before I actually got to go to school.
Rated R: For language, and other shit.
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